Back in the old days, food was canned to ensure that there was enough to eat during the winter. Mountain folk canned tomatoes, vegetable soup, peaches, pickles, pickled green beans, pickled beets, pickled peaches and of course applesauce. Applesauce was served hot with butter and a biscuit.Canning Vegetables
Preserving Food ~ Fruits and Vegetables
Mountain folks made chow chow and canned it. Chow chow is chopped cabbage, onions, green and red peppers preferably hot peppers pickled. It was served with pinto beans. In addition, they buried cabbage to keep it for the winter. When they cut the cabbage from the stalk, the old timers would dig a hole and turn the cabbage upside down in the hole and cover it, like Root Cellaring. I've been told that months later, in the dead of winter, the cabbage is as good as the day it was cut.
Pickled green beans was a favorite. I use to can quite a lot in my time. I'd fill a Ball glass canning jar with raw beans, make a brine of salt and vinegar (such as you do for cucumber pickles), boil the brine, pour it over the green beans, and put the canning lids on. Boil the jars in a canner or large pot for around an hour. You can hear the cans seal with a pop. Remove and set up for winter. If the seal breaks anytime the beans are stored, the beans were ruined, so you'd throw those jars away. Folks made Leather Britches. This is green beans strung on a string and hung up to dry. Stringing green beans was easy, take a sewing needle, thread it and then knot the end like you would for any sewing project. Hold the bean sideways and push the needle through the bean and onto the thread. Push the bean down to the knot. Repeat. Hang the beans in a cool dry place to dry.
A trick to keeping tomatoes for winter use was to take the green tomatoes and wrap them in newspaper, storing them in a box in a dark, cool and dry storage room. The results fresh tomatoes all winter. This works for apples too.
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They have lids, jars, canners, dehydrators, strainers (pictured), even books to help show you the way.